Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Microorganisms detected via breath test linked to body mass, fat accumulation

Date:
March 26, 2013
Source:
Endocrine Society
Summary:
The content of a person's breath may indicate how susceptible they are to weight gain, according to a recent study. People whose breath has high concentrations of both hydrogen and methane gases are more likely to have a higher body mass index and percentage of body fat, according to the findings. The combination of the two gases signals the presence of a microorganism that may contribute to obesity.

The content of a person's breath may indicate how susceptible they are to weight gain, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

People whose breath has high concentrations of both hydrogen and methane gases are more likely to have a higher body mass index and percentage of body fat, according to the findings. The combination of the two gases signals the presence of a microorganism that may contribute to obesity.

A person exhales larger amounts of hydrogen and methane gases when a microorganism called Methanobrevibacter smithii (M. smithii) colonizes the digestive tract. Previous research has shown that M. smithii is the predominant organism in the human gastrointestinal tract responsible for methane production.

"Normally, the collection of microorganisms living in the digestive tract is balanced and benefits humans by helping them convert food into energy," said lead author Ruchi Mathur, M.D., director of the Outpatient Diabetes Treatment and Education Center in the Division of Endocrinology at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. "When M. smithii becomes overabundant, however, it may alter the balance in a way that makes the human host more likely to gain weight and accumulate fat."

M. smithii scavenges hydrogen from other microorganisms and uses it to produce methane, which is eventually exhaled. Researchers theorize that the interaction helps hydrogen-producing microorganisms extract nutrients from food more efficiently, which encourages weight gain and obesity in the human host. These microorganisms also may play a role in insulin signaling and regulation.

"This is the first large-scale human study to connect the dots and show an association between gas production and body weight," Mathur said.

The prospective study analyzed the breath content of 792 people. Based on the breath tests, four patterns emerged. The subjects either had normal breath content, higher concentrations of methane, higher levels of hydrogen or higher levels of both gases. The people whose breath test contained higher concentrations of both hydrogen and methane tended to have higher body mass indexes and higher percentages of body fat.

Other researchers working on the study include: M. Amichai, K. Chua, J. Mirocha, G. Barlow and M. Pimentel of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ruchi Mathur et al. Methane and Hydrogen Positivity on Breath Test is Associated with Greater Body Mass Index and Body Fat. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2013 (in press)

Cite This Page:

Endocrine Society. "Microorganisms detected via breath test linked to body mass, fat accumulation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130326095056.htm>.
Endocrine Society. (2013, March 26). Microorganisms detected via breath test linked to body mass, fat accumulation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130326095056.htm
Endocrine Society. "Microorganisms detected via breath test linked to body mass, fat accumulation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130326095056.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) — Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Obesity May Be Linked to Microorganisms Living in the Gut

Mar. 26, 2013 — How much a person eats may be only one of many factors that determines weight gain. A recent study suggests that a breath test profile of microorganisms inhabiting the gut may be able to tell doctors ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins